~“Hey Shorty,” I chuckled, taking my place in the classroom. I warranted a few glares from random girls. This was the same thing that happened every day. Every day I would walk up to my blonde best friend, Niall, and call him a Shorty. That was all fine and dandy, of course, until he went on X Factor. Things had changed then. People started paying attention to him, and he couldn’t pay much attention to me. He was overly busy, working hard with the other members of his small boy band, called One Direction. Originally, he had been singing by himself but then they pushed a few of the boys into the groups section, including the sexy one Zayn Malik, the sweet one Louis Tomlinson, the crazy funny one Harry Styles, the camera-hog Liam Payne, and finally Niall Horan, my best friend.
Niall and I have known each other since practically birth. My mum and his mum went to school and university together, and were best friends as well. So were our fathers. We even grew up together as next door neighbours, the families were so tight. Every Friday we have a movie night assigned were we swap between horror, comedy and your old-school Disney movies. Also, on Saturdays we usually help each other with the homework and then play video games or go outside for a little tennis. If its not raining. Me and my dad built the tennis court out the back ourselves. It’s concrete, hard, but isn’t much fun to play on when its raining. Giant puddles cover about half of the court even when it’s only a cloudy day. Such is life in this small, dank and vastly vegetated Irish town, Mullingar in Westmeath. Its often cold but we don’t mind it. Usually we just pile on more blankets.
You probably know everything there is to know about Niall, so let me tell you more about myself. My name’s Jordan Moore, but everyone calls me Jordy. I’m actually only sixteen years old, but I was pushed forward two years for more school stimulation. I guess you could say I’m smarter than your average person, but because I was accelerated up I have next to no friends. All the other kids my age think I’m weird and don’t often hang around with me, unless, of course, I’m with Niall. Then they’re all suddenly interested. I’m not too short, actually I am slightly taller than Niall; he’s quite short too. We have a similar taste in just about everything, from our love of pop music to our hatred of dancing. But I am childish, more so than him. But I guess that’s to be expected as I am younger. I really like that he’s famous and all with One Direction, but I do miss the old Niall all the time. Things just aren’t the same as they were before.
The classroom immediately went quiet as the teacher entered, reading through his textbook. It was a geography period, and I dreaded the boredom that usually ensues in this very room.
“Class, turn to page 217,” droned the teacher, Mr Jenkins. “Today we will be learning about lines of latitude and longitude.” I sighed. Things couldn’t get more boring, could they? Niall noticed my tribulation as I boredly turned the pages of my textbook one by one. We quickly began passing notes at the back of the classroom.
‘Why so bored?’ he asked.
‘Because its Geography, why else?’
He smirked at the comment.
‘It’s Friday today.’ He stated.
I gave him the look.
‘Yes, I know. You can make it, right?’
‘Of course, it's tradition.’
‘So what are we going to watch, then?’
There was a pause, before he scribbled some suggestions on the note.
‘We need something that the others will like.’
My brows furrowed. I raised an eyebrow at him. He grabbed the paper back to explain himself.
‘I invited the boys over as well. Do you mind if they come over for movie night?’
I tried my best to keep my emotions from showing, but my distaste must have shown, for Niall was within seconds scrawling an apology.
‘Sorry Jordy, but I thought you might like some extra company too.’
Its not that I didn’t like the other members of One Direction. I really did. They were all so nice. Its because it felt like Niall had broken some kind of silent promise. No one else had ever joined us on our Friday nights, and I had naively assumed that it would stay that way. I responded quickly.
‘Niall, its fine. What movie did you have in mind?’
Niall ran a few ideas by me, and before too long the period was over and we were out the door, at our lockers and leaving the school gates. Niall and I always walked home together, because his small, bricked cottage home was right next to mine. The twenty minute walk was passed in silence. The fence between our houses was so low, we usually just jumped over it if we knew the other had spare time. I smiled at the thought. I waved at him as I walked over to my house and he to his, and we stepped in the door at the same time. I went upstairs to get changed, left to my own thoughts. What did I really feel for Niall? I had known him my whole life and had come to depend on him. My heart… it would often beat faster when I saw him or spoke to him, or when he would accidentally brush up against me as we would lie on my bed or on the floor on Saturdays. But what did this all mean? Emotions confused me even at the best of times. Perhaps I felt something deeper than friendship for him?
“Nah,” I shrugged myself off, running to the wardrobe.
I put on my short denim shorts and a white singlet with my light pink loose shirt over the top. It was basic but it would do. I tied my light brown hair in a messy bun on top of my head, leaving my caramel highlights to droop down over my shoulders. Grey-blue eyes stared back at me through the mirror. After about an hour had passed, I made my way across to Niall’s house, through the garden by jumping over the fence. It was cold out as usual, and I picked up my shoes and clapped them together when I made it to his back verandah, making sure not to bring any mud with me. I set my shoes against a brick next to the doorway, straining my ears to hear if we already had company. Which we did. I sighed, and was about to knock before the door was flung open before me.
“Hey Jordy, ready for an awesome movie night?” It was Liam, his usual bubbly self. Harry jumped up and down behind him.
“Come on, Jordy, I want you to sit with me.” I was led by the fuzzy-haired boy to the couch in Niall’s living room. Already set up were several bean bags strewn across the floor. A pile of DVDs sat in the centre of the room. Zayn and Louis were already going through them excitedly. Niall stepped into the room with a tray of mugs filled with steaming hot chocolate.
“Ah, you’re here, Jordy,” he said happily. He trailed off as he looked down at my hand enlaced in Harry’s. He placed the tray on the wooden coffee table and walked quickly out of the room. Zayn got up, walked over to Harry and shoved him off me.
“Now look what you’ve done!” he growled. But Harry was completely oblivious to what his actions had caused. How quickly things could spiral out of control. I was confused myself.
Perhaps now was as good a time as any to confront my feelings. Judging from the reaction of Zayn against Harry, and also by the swift, angered movement of Niall, I knew there was something, some kind of emotion, that Niall felt for me. Zayn was as good as anyone at reading situations, and I trusted his judgment above my own.
“Niall,” I called, walking down the hallway. “Niall?” My bare feet sunk into the light, cream-coloured carpet. Finally, I had made it to the plain, white door that stood between me and Niall’s room. I knocked as quietly and calmly as I could.
“Niall, what’s wrong?” I heard a grunt in response.
“Go away, Jordan.” Something was definitely wrong. My full name never passed through Niall’s lips unless he was either angry or upset with me. I ignored his pleas, turning the silver, worn door-handle and pushing the door between us open. He was sitting on the floor on the opposite side of his bed from the door, staring out the window.
“Hey you,” I placed an arm on his shoulder and sat down beside him.
“Hey,” he responded mechanically. I rolled my eyes.
“OK, Niall, if you think anything’s going on between Harry and me, you’re wrong,” I said pointedly. “He’s not serious enough for me.” He snorted at my comment.
“I don’t know if he likes me or something,” I continued in a mutter, “but I honestly don’t have any feelings for him. He’s probably joking around about it anyway.” I heard Niall’s quick intake of breath. Perhaps in relief? I smiled as I watched his reflection in the window.
“So, now that’s all cleared up, I have a question for you.” I poked him on the forehead. “Why’d you run out on us like that?” He closed his eyes and turned to face me. I laughed as I took in his coloured cheeks.
“Actually, Jordy, I do have feelings for you.” Although I expected it, I couldn't fully prepare myself for his confession. I wrapped an arm around him and pulled him into a hug, hiding my own blush as I rested my chin on his shoulder.
“I… feel the same way,” I whispered into his ear. “I never really thought about it, but I guess I’ve always felt the same way, this… connection I have to you.” I thought back to when I was so upset he had left me to go on X Factor. All those days he never came to school, leaving me quite alone to my own devices. I have to admit I was lost without him. I missed him. Even him inviting the boys here today seemed to ruin anything we had between us, at least in my opinion. Like the last sacred thing, where only the pair of us were involved, had been stolen from me. But now I think I understand a little more why I felt that way. And it isn’t any longer an issue.
“Niall, I think I love you,” I uttered, placing a kiss on his cheek. “And I always have.” Niall gave a sharp exhale and I felt him run a hand across my cheek. I hadn’t realized I had been a little teary. He kissed me gently on the lips.
“So can we be more than friends?” he asked quietly. I nodded, and he stood up, lifting me behind him.
We both walked, hand in hand, down the hallway and to the living room. The other boys sat around the living room waiting patiently. Even Harry Styles looked more subdued than usual.
“Well?” Zayn asked pointedly. Niall burst into a large smile, and I couldn’t help but also grin like a crazy person.
“Well, Jordy’s now my girlfriend.” Liam gave me the thumbs up and patted the floor next to him. I complied, sitting down next to him and pulling the blanket over myself.“Come on you two lovebirds, we’re missing out on movie night!” he complained with a grin on his face. Perhaps Harry did feel something for me, but I guess he’d get over it eventually.
“Well, what did you guys decide to watch, then?” I asked. “Hopefully comedy.”
“Yeah. We got out ‘Johnny English Reborn’ from the video store!” Liam said.
We all sat watching the movie, breaking in to fits of laughter every time something ridiculous happened to Rowan Atkinson. Even Harry managed to form a smile every once in a while. I sat with Niall the whole night, my head resting on his lap. I could just about stay this way forever.